February 1, 2012, 12:00 AM

Publisher's letter: Expanding our e-commerce research

Expanding our e-commerce research.

Most subscribers of this publication already know that Internet Retailer's magazines, newsletters and web sites make it the leading publisher of e-commerce news and analysis. And because our three industry-leading conferences attract two of every three attendees to e-commerce events held in the U.S. each year, you are probably aware that Internet Retailer is the leading producer of events for online merchants.

However, many of our readers may not know that our leadership in e-commerce information rests on a third leg—original market research. Last year, more than 12,000 people purchased one or more of our print or electronic publications containing original research on the growth and market positions of the top 1,000 e-retailers in the U.S., the top 300 online merchants in Europe, the top 300 mobile commerce businesses, and 1,200 e-commerce solution providers, all of which makes Internet Retailer the world's largest publisher of e-commerce market research.

Since the first edition of our annual Top 500 Guide was published in 2004, sales of our research publications have increased every year. Last year alone, revenue from IR's research products grew 44%, and we have ambitious expansion plans for high double-digit growth in 2012. Those plans include:

The Top 400 Europe: This month, we'll roll out the second edition of our guide ranking and profiling the largest e-retailers in Europe, building on the remarkable success of last year's first edition (the Top 300 Europe Guide), the first publication to provide detailed competitive information on Europe's e-commerce leaders. The new edition is being expanded to 452 pages to include more details on Europe's e-commerce market and to expand the number of web merchants measured from 300 to 400.

The Top 500 Online Database: We spent much of the last year completely revamping our largest-selling research product—the online database of America's 500 largest retailers—to vastly expand the number of customer rankings and reports it can generate, improve how it displays custom reports subscribers generate, vastly simplify its operation and add an entirely new front-end online news section. In addition, this all-new online database, which is also being released this month, will for the first time include all data for the Second 500 e-retailers in North America and in short order the top 400 web merchants in Europe.

The South America Top 300: We are well into our research on a new annual publication that will rank, profile and provide competitive data on the 300 largest e-retailers in Latin and South America, the next step toward our goal of building a global research database of e-commerce operations. The South America Top 300 will be published in June.

Social Network Marketing: We've been covering the increasing use of social networks by web retailers for some time now, and late this year we will publish our first research guide with complete details on how the country's top e-retailers are using social networks to expand their market penetration. The new guide will also include comprehensive analysis of all social networks plus case studies and how-to articles on using these new marketing tools.

Digital Editions: Our other annual research publications will introduce new print editions in 2012, bringing to 10 the total number of Internet Retailer research products on the market. By year end all of these print publications will be offered in digital formats as well, beginning with the introduction this month of the digital versions of the Mobile Commerce Top 300 and the Europe Top 400.

These initiatives are designed to bolster Internet Retailer's role as the world's "Portal to E-Commerce Intelligence."

Jack Love, Publisher

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